And then showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse bring us "Dr. Linus" (an episode directed by Mario Van Peebles, by the way), which was totally off the chain already for 59 minutes and then in the last 30 seconds...
Charles Widmore has returned.
That can't possibly be a good thing. Looks like that hella war for the Island is about to kick off bigtime.
Best. Season Six. Episode. Yet.
Which is what I had expected, since it was pretty obvious from the title that this was going to be a Ben-centric installment of Lost. The episodes focusing on Michael Emerson's character Benjamin Linus have been some of the strongest of the show's entire run. I wasn't disappointed at all. And in fact, this might have been the best of the Ben-intensive episodes. Certainly one of the best overall.
Other highlights: possibly the revelation of why Richard can't age (which we got before watching the most explosive game of chicken ever). The reason why Frank wasn't flying Oceanic 815. And even a hilarious wink toward the Nikki and Paulo fiasco.
But the highlight of this episode was the continuing evolution of Benjamin Linus from a cold-blooded schemer toward becoming a repentant human being longing for redemption. And on that note I thought that the "flashsideways" for this episode was the best of the season by far.
If the rest of the season can measure up to this one, then we are in for some of the greatest television ever.
I'll give "Dr. Linus" a 9.3 out of 10.
EDIT 10:31 p.m. EST: Am re-watching this episode and totally forgot about Ben's history lesson in the "X" timeline about Napoleon's exile on Elba. That's gotta be a big hint about the Man in Black's own nature and history. And the exchange between Ben and Locke in the teachers lounge? Pure Lost subtlety.